With a little downtime before the Hot Stove picks up again, it's time to take a look at the 2008 NL Extra-Base Hit Leaders. The XBH leaders can sometimes give you an idea on who may surprise in the power categories in next year's drafts.
I created a table of the top 35-40 XBH leaders in 2008 and compared their 2008 numbers to 2007. Take a look:
|Braun, Ryan J. 3B MIL||83||66||17|
|Pujols, Albert 1B STL||81||71||10|
|Ludwick, Ryan OF STL||80||36||44|
|Berkman, Lance 1B HOU||79||60||19|
|McLouth, Nate CF PIT||76||37||39|
|Drew, Stephen SS ARI||76||44||32|
|Ramirez, Manny LF LA||74||54||20|
|Reyes, Jose B. SS NYM||72||60||12|
|Ramirez, Hanley SS FL||71||83||(12)|
|Cantu, Jorge 1B FLA||70||10||60|
|Uggla, Dan 2B FLA||70||83||(13)|
|Burrell, Pat LF PHI||69||56||13|
|Gonzalez, Adrian 1B SD||69||79||(10)|
|McCann, Brian C ATL||66||56||10|
|Fielder, Prince 1B MIL||66||87||(21)|
|Holliday, Matt LF COL||65||92||(27)|
|Ethier, Andre LF LA||63||47||16|
|Kemp, Matt CF LA||61||27||34|
|Glaus, Troy 3B STL||61||40||21|
|Jacobs, Mike 1B FLA||61||46||15|
|Soto, Geovany C CHC||60||9||51|
|Votto, Joey 1B CIN||59||11||48|
|Reynolds, Mark 3B ARI||59||41||18|
|Rollins, Jimmy SS PHI||58||88||(30)|
I have highlited in bold some of the hitters with the biggest increases /decreases in XBHs in 2008. Some of the hitters with the biggest increases in XBHs can be explained with more playing time in 2008 vs 2007, such as Jorge Cantu, Geovany Soto and Ryan Ludwick. But guys like Stephen Drew and Matt Kemp may experience a surge in their power numbers in 2009.
On the other extreme, you have guys like Jimmy Rollins, Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday who experienced severe drops in their XBHs in 2008. Rollins power numbers may have peaked in 2007, but Fielder and Holliday's dropoffs are tougher to explain. Both are still young and should hit for more power in 2009. Then again, is it a coincidence that both are on the trade block this offseason??
Can Fielder and Holliday improve their power numbers in 2009?